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La Russa is not a Reds managerial candidate. Jim Riggleman is for some reason.

Oct 4, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

As soon as the news hit that Dusty Baker was out as Reds manager people started talking about Tony La Russa. In addition to being a surefire Hall of Fame manager, he is close with Reds GM Walt Jocketty and worked with him for years in St. Louis.

Seems that’s just wishcasting:


The Riggleman thing is interesting. In the hour since the news broke Jon Heyman, Nightengale and C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer all mentioned him as a top candidate. Which, on a superficial level makes sense as (a) he has big managerial experience; and (b) he managers the Reds Triple-A team.

But I gotta wonder how serious the Reds can consider a guy who has never once been handed a winning team to manage and who quit the last big league job he had mid-season due to a contractual dispute. He’s headed the Padres, Cubs, Mariners and Nationals, often as a guy asked to hold the fort until the team got better and another manager could be found. There could be any number of candidates for the job, obviously, and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of names floating around. I would hope, however, that the Reds get more imaginative than someone like Riggleman.

And, no matter who it is, I hope the first question the guy is asked in an interview was what he thinks of Joey Votto‘s walks, followed by a question about what he thinks about Brandon Phillips‘ RBIs followed by a question about bunts, followed by a question about when he would have pulled Johnny Cueto in Tuesday night’s wild card game.

  1. skeleteeth - Oct 4, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Rob Dibble should be available, no?

    • bfunk1978 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      While true, I would never give him a club to run after his awful assessment of Strasburg’s injury. That’s just one of those things where you never know if the stupid comes back out.

      • Old Gator - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        Wally Backman! Wally Backman! Wally Backman! He’d not only boot those guys in the nates, but he’d draw some of the heat off the Bengals’ extracurricular behavior, that’s for sure. Of course, there’s be the usual sanctimonious pandits coming out of aestivation to piss on him, but that’s par for the course. Just think of him as a cross between Billy Martin and a fireplug.

  2. burm61 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Sandy Alomar Jr.

  3. sleepyirv - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    I wouldn’t think it would be possible for a front office to fire Dusty Baker and then make a downgrade.

    • sabatimus - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      My thought exactly. Riggleman is the worst possible replacement, perhaps even including Bobby Valentine.

  4. paperlions - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    The problem with the walks thing is that apparently that wasn’t just Baker’s deal (if it was his at all), others in management have been critical of Votto’s lack of aggressiveness in RBI situations (i.e. they think he should expand his zone and swing at more balls rather than walking)…getting rid of Baker won’t change that organizational attitude. Overall, the Reds had a great team OBP, but that was driven by Choo (.423) and Votto (.435)…3rd best on the team (min 300 PAs) was Bruce at .329. As an organization, high-OBP approaches do not appear to be a priority.

    • jm91rs - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      I’m not sure anyone else in the Reds management ever goes on record as saying anything at all, so I’m not sure who else in management was critical of Votto’s lack of aggressiveness. Marty Brennaman doesn’t count.

      • whodeybacker - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Remember, Walt inherited Dusty. I believe Walt is a happy guy right now since he doesnt have to keep explaining why his team lacks the basic fundamentals of baseball. Bob C liked Dusty. Dusty is a likable Dude. But the players didnt hold themselves accountable and the play was sloppy this year. Talent only gets you so far. The pitching was the strength this year.

      • paperlions - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        The “only so far” that talent gets you is World Series Championships.

      • gloccamorra - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        Walt inherited Dusty from the Red’s owner who hired him, bypassing the previous GM. Walt waited a day to get permission to let Dusty (and his $3.5 million contract for next year) go. Walt probably got the owner when he was still royally pissed off about the playoff loss.

  5. bfunk1978 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Walt Jocketty picked up the Reds bullpen phone and called Tony La Russa but got Jim Riggleman instead.

  6. junglerat524 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    If they bring in LaRussa I’ll puke. How about Jim Tracey?

    • paperlions - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      You know…the reaction of Reds fans to a LaRussa hire would make that worth while all by itself…I’m sorry for wishing that on you, but, surely, you can appreciate how fans of division foes might find it hysterical.

      • jm91rs - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        I extremely dislike Tony LaRussa, but I doubt many opposing fans would like it if he were in charge of the Reds. The value of a manager can be debated, but the value of Tony LaRussa versus Dusty Baker is pretty clear. He’d be worth a win or two for sure.

      • paperlions - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Nah, wouldn’t bother me at all as a Cardinal fan….LaRussa’s in game management is actually a LOT like Dusty’s, prefers veteran players, lots of bunts, lots of “by the book” bullpen management.

      • bfunk1978 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Heh, need a new stat. WAD – Wins Above Dusty.

  7. paperlions - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    I would be shocked if the Reds didn’t hire a guy with a lot of MLB-level experience, would also be surprised if the guy is under 50 yrs old…that just seems to be what makes Jocketty comfortable with and confident in his manager.

    • sumerduckman - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Charlie Manuel fits that description. He’s available.

    • stormsurger - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Gee. Sounds like Sparky Anderson in 1970.

  8. hornbuckle - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    A week to late.

  9. racksie - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    As far as the Cueto thing goes, hey how about a walk to the mound to calm him down, and get his head back on straight. Or even see if it was possible to talk him off the ledge.

    • jm91rs - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      Didn’t he do that? I thought he visited the mound once before lifting him.

      • whodeybacker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        No one went to the mound, coach nor catcher.

      • phinphan54 - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Yeah, nobody went to the mound…

  10. chill1184 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    They should hire Wally Backman

    • sdelmonte - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      Yes, please. Get him out of the Mets system so that we stop hearing about him. If he’s any good, let him prove it someplace else.

  11. NatsLady - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Reds fans, you won’t be happy with Ol’ Double-switch Riggleman, trust me. But you’ll get lots and lots and lots of in-game moves to criticize, so there’s that.

  12. steve7921 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Pete Rose? okay okay I kid…

    • Caught Looking - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      I wouldn’t bet on it.

    • metalhead65 - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      if they had Pete they would have won a world series by now.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        If your Aunt had balls she would be your Uncle. Lol!

  13. wpjohnson - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    The Reds need leadership on the field. They have nothing. Voto is sure no leader. Phillips loves to talk but is no leader. Cozart looks like a younger version of Joe Biden- that tells it all there. Bruce is a nice young man but no leader. Choo, certainly no leader, will exit. the pitchers? Odd bunch with no leaders. Not a good situation.

    • skids003 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Man, that’s not a very nice thing to say about Cozart.

  14. joshfrancis50 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Reds should hire Corky Miller. I’m serious.

    • jm91rs - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      I would actually like that, but I think he needs some seasoning somewhere else first.

    • paperlions - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      That would be fantastic….just for the name….as a long-time backup and MiLB catcher, he has the player resume to be a good manager, understanding pitchers and position players.

    • bengalsucker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      Corkey Miller would be a fantastic hire for a bench coach or something right now. After some seasons under his belt I bet he’d be a great manager.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      For some reason…I have always like Corky Miller. I really think he could be a good Manager at some point. But he needs a bench job for a while to make that a reality.

  15. markalan54 - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I don’t want to read where the reds players are taking about how much they loved dusty baker and stuff. Their lackadaisical approach to the game is one of the reasons he lost his job. As bad of a decision maker that Dusty was, he’d still have his job if they had done their job better.

  16. markalan54 - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    maybe Bryan Price will be offered the job and Corky Miller becomes the Reds next pitching coach.

  17. spudchukar - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Two points. 1) It is incorrect to assert that Riggleman quit over money. The Nats wouldn’t promise to extend him mid-season, and he insisted on a vote of confidence. 2) Riggleman got his training in the St. Louis organization, one that is vastly superior to Cincinnati’s. And he too, is close to Jockety. In my opinion the Reds would be lucky to hire him.

    • whodeybacker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Spudchukar, where do you get your insight on riggleman? I’ve been saying this for 4 months that he is going to be coaching the Reds. Dont know his background except no one seems to like him. If he is a fundamentals “pusher” then im cool with that. There was a reason Walt hired him last year.

      • spudchukar - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Your question confuses me. My “insight” comes from his lengthy tenure in the Cards organization. Don’t you contradict yourself in your comment?

      • whodeybacker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        I didnt know if you had info as a Cards fan or a Nationals fan. I respect perspective from St Louis fans as they generall know sound baseball because they SEE it pretty much EVERY game they watch. its a compliment.

  18. markalan54 - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    now, Cozart….a new manager awaits you. Quit trying to hit a homerun in every at bat and start hitting the ball between the lines. Don’t make us be haunted by the DiGregorious trade to Arizona.

  19. markalan54 - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    i’ll take anybody for manager over dusty. Just have him bring in a new hitting coach that can teach basics of moving the runners. This going for a big inning crap is hopefully over.

    • kinggw - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      Getting a new hitting coach doesnt change the personnel on the team. Sounds to me like your beef is with the GM and not the manager, yet you blame Dusty.

  20. tfbuckfutter - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Hiring Riggleman sounds like a Dusty Baker decision.

  21. jimmyt - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Just once, i wish a team would hald a contest and have a fan take over.

    • zzalapski - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      How many fans would know anything about managing 25 people who (probably) make more money than s/he has ever seen, answering daily questions from media with their own agenda, *and* dealing with potentially fickle bosses? It’s a little different than an OOTP simulation.

  22. whodeybacker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Before you riddle Riggleman, do some homework first. He has never had a team like he would inherit with the Reds

  23. bengalsucker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Yeah from what I’m hearing about Riggleman, I want nothing to do with him. I’d be more inclined to give Brian Price the nod. I’ve heard he has great Managerial instincts. But he also doesnt seem like one that has any kind of fire. Maybe he’d change as Manager but I don’t see that in him.

  24. whodeybacker - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    You will see Miguel Cairo in the picture in some capacity. Hitting coach??? I have had many a conversations with him and he knows his stuff.

  25. stlouis1baseball - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Cairo also knows a thing (or 10) about defense as well. Dude can/could play anywhere.

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